chaz1Maintaining and repairing floors to comply with health and safety standards can be costly and not least of the worries for warehouse operators is the potential disruption problem while remedial work is undertaken. It is, therefore, important to choose the most appropriate flooring care solutions that at the same time will not compromise floor care standards and safety issues. This often means using a fast track solution.

As when considering many capital investments, floors are like horses for courses. If the operation requires high bay forklift usage then floor flatness and durability are crucial as these will affect efficiency and forklift safety. But in an existing wide aisle warehouse which wants to convert part of its premises to a VNA operation to gain more storage space how disruptive would such work be on existing storage operations? Compared with the more conventional approach of using the long strip method, the answer is a lot less when using Laser Screed and the Laser Ground method within the aisles where necessary.

A good example of this is work done by Concrete Grinding for Deal Distribution in Dubai. If the long strip method had been used, where one aisle is cast per day, the 3,600 mt2 floor would have taken 11 days. By using the Laser Screed method, Concrete Grinding completed the work within 3 days. Face Middle East then surveyed the floor for compliance with both free and defined movement specifications and the findings easily complied with the TR 34. FM2 (Special Specification) of the Concrete Society.

Problems can arise when transverse floor construction joints become uneven caused, for example, by localised sub base compression. In the case of Milton Keynes-based, furniture fittings distributor, Blum UK, this caused frequent malfunctions of wire-guided, man-up VNA trucks. Blum had considered major structural repairs to the slabs, but that would have taken at least 6 week-ends and been very disruptive and expensive.

Here again, Concrete Grinding came to the rescue by stabilising the joint edges through pumping a high resin foam into the void beneath them, cutting back the joint arrises to a depth of 50 mm and then rebuilding the joints with a high performance epoxy mortar. Finally, the joints were re-cut in the same position as before, filled with a semi rigid compound, ground to a completely even surface and sealed. The whole project was completed in just one weekend.

Sometimes the problems of floor flatness can seem so daunting that it would appear that only horrifically costly and disruptive solutions, like pile driving, are the only answer. This is often the case when an entire warehouse floor starts to dish, owing to low, load bearing capacity of the soft soil beneath the concrete floor. Back in 1989, however, a new foam injection system was employed for the first time in the UK by Uretek on an Eastbourne warehouse. This writer was there at the time when Eastbourne made history, watching the high bay racking straightening up to the accompaniment of eerily-creaking metal racking groans. A pile driving solution would have cost 20 times as much. Since then, Uretek has used its foam system on over 4,000 installations in the UK.

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